Babes, April 14th is a great day for moms and babies! Actresses Jenna Elfman, Kelly Preston and former boxer Laila Ali, in partnership with non-profits Best for Babes and Healthy Child Healthy World, will host the first-ever celebrity-driven event to raise awareness of the pivotal role that both breastfeeding and toxin-free living play in raising healthy children. “When I first had my son 20 years ago and learned that he had special needs, I discovered that his health was directly related to the toxins and chemicals in our environment,” says Kelly Preston. “Education and awareness are the first steps. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something, and every action counts,” adds Jenna Elfman.
Honestly, we are still pinching ourselves. There has never been an opportunity like this for the breastfeeding cause, and we are thrilled to be part of it. We all know how influential Hollywood is in raising awareness of causes, from Parkinson’s to breast cancer. We all know that when celebrities speak openly about breastfeeding, or nurse in public, that it sends a powerful message to mainstream America that breastfeeding is cool, hip, and acceptable. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Hollywood trend-setters and style-makers have a huge impact on our culture and our willingness to change behaviors. Case in point: eco cars never had a sexier moment than when George Clooney drove a Prius . . . in zero to 60 seconds, America went full-throttle from knowing intellectually what is better for us, to putting the pedal to the metal and switching increasingly from Hummer to Hybrid. Since founding Best for Babes, we’ve argued that the same approach will work for breastfeeding. We are so grateful to the celebrities we’ve interviewed who have helped us raise awareness of the unnecessary barriers to breastfeeding that moms face. 86% of expecting moms want to breastfeed, but most of them are being set up to fail (see our State of Breastfeeding in the U.S.). With help from our friends at People.com, our interviews allow us to inspire, prepare and educate millions of moms on making informed decisions and on how to navigate the “Booby Traps” and achieve their personal goals, whether those are to breastfeed for 2 days, 2 months, 2 years or not at all.
Okay, so back to the celebrity event. It will be an afternoon tea at the beautiful Hollywood home of gracious hostess and style-maker Jenna Elfman (you can read her incredible breastfeeding story here, which motivated her to get involved with us to help moms and babies.) We have been working closely with Healthy Child Healthy World and the hostesses to create “learning stations” in every room of the house that encourage the expecting, new mom and health-conscious celebrities and influencers to explore and get educated about the best breastfeeding and non-toxic living practices. Guests will be able to learn about the basics of getting a good breastfeeding start, sustainable and toxin-free nursery furniture, managing milk supply, baby-wearing and gear for on-the-go, using natural cleaning products, natural and organic body care for babies and moms, natural diapering, and organic and healthy nutrition. Some of the hostesses’ favorite breastfeeding & non-toxic products will be displayed–Kelly Preston has spent twenty years learning about the impact of toxins on the environment and has searched the globe for the most innovative and eco-friendly products, so we have learned a lot from her! Laila Ali had a very tough time nursing her first baby, so we are sure she will be advising expecting moms to educate themselves about the barriers, and how to overcome them. Our hope is that this event will create a ripple effect among the celebrity guests, their friends and influencers, help dispel myths and misinformation, and set an example of how easy it is to take positive, healthy steps. Every toxin removed makes a difference; every ounce of breastmilk counts, whether made, used, donated or appreciated!
We are incredibly grateful to Jenna, Kelly & Laila and their event planning teams for hosting and planning this event (click here for more details). We couldn’t do this without the leadership and mentoring provided by Healthy Child Healthy World, and we love them for all they are doing to protect children from harmful chemicals and toxins (Kelly was their national spokesperson when they were founded, 20 years ago!). This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of presenting sponsors Leading Lady (a maternity and nursing bra company) and Ameda (makers of breast pumps and accessories), two companies that have been helping and outfitting breastfeeding moms for over 70 years. Special thanks to our leading sponsors Moby Wrap, Motherlove, HappyFamily, CaribooofNewZealand, FairhavenHealth, PumpEase, Mamas & Papas, and SeventhGeneration. We’ll be sharing more about the sponsors soon; and Fit Pregnancy will be doing a special “Celebrity Swag Bag” giveaway after the event! The Party Goddess! has done a fantastic job making this star-studded event shine in true Hollywood style, and we are grateful to all of the companies donating goods and services . . . more on that later, too!
Sponsorships of the event will go towards developing and launching a new Best for Babes initiative, a Physician-led Education, Empowerment and Recognition program (MD PEER program). We’ll share details on the program in the coming weeks and months.
The event is only a few days away, and we are wildly excited. It is our deepest intention that it serve moms, babies, and the whole community that has been advocating for moms and babies to get the healthiest start to life for decades. Hooray for Hollywood, hooray for breastfeeding & non-toxic living!